Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Hello Race Strategy

Note: The following is the final pre-Boston Marathon guest post by the mysterious Hello Kitty Mystery Runner! The HKR will be in action this coming April 20th and I wish him well.

Obsession is the name of the game. Ever since I qualified for Boston in November 2007, this race has been in the back of my mind. After I completed my December 2008 marathon, I have been pretty focused on preparing for my first and, quite possibly, my last Boston Marathon. In the process, annoying my family.

If I nail my race, I can go home feeling good about myself for conquering Boston’s fabled course. Put on the scorecard: Hello Kitty Runner 1, Boston Marathon 0. And frankly, I will not be interested in any best two out of three deals. You don’t do this when you win the lottery and you don‘t test fate if you get lucky and execute at Boston. This race will cost me about $50 per mile if you count up entry fee, flights, lodging, food, etc. And this is with only my wife (Mrs. Hello Kitty Runner) and I. When I announced to the family that I registered to run, my daughters put on their BoSox hats*, searched the internet for “Boston’s best clam chowder”, and started packing their suitcases. You should have seen the looks on their sad little faces when they realized that they would be stuck at home for the weekend.

As for my plan for the race, I will go with a hybrid approach.

Miles 1-5: This part of the race is mostly downhill and many get sucked into the vacuum, let their adrenaline get the best of them and run way too fast (until they crash and burn). I plan to run the first two miles about 10 seconds slower than my goal pace of 7:15 (editor's note: this equates to a 3:10 full marathon), then run 7:15’s (times adjusted for hills) through mile 5. My approach for this stage: Lollygag!

Mile 6-13.1: Relatively flat is how some describe these miles. Of course Nome, Alaska is relatively warm compared to Antarctica. I will shoot to maintain 7:15’s here. I’ll probably give a few kids a “High Five” as I pass. Runners are still in a good mood at this stage of the game and will be loving the Hello Kitty on my back. I’ll probably look like the Pied Piper out there. I look forward to running through the scream tunnel created by the Wellesley College ladies, however, I’m not kissing any of them, but I might make their day by flashing my HK band aids once or twice. As I finish the first half, I hope to come through in about 1:34:30. My approach for this stage: Cruise and Flash!


Miles 13.1-16: The lull before the storm. We are still in a relatively flat part of the course, and as we approach the I-95 overpass we arrive at the beginning of “The Hills”. I hope to just stay controlled and relaxed as five of the toughest miles of the course are waiting for victims. My approach for this stage: Brace for the frying pan to the head!

Mile 16-21: The Hills. Those first five miles were fun and easy. The bus ride this morning was fun, the Expo and even eating a taco at the airport on Saturday was fun. This is not going to be fun. My plan is to leak oil here. Not blow my engine like some have in the past as they stopped for a walk at mile 17 on the hill known as “Beardsley’s Revenge”** lost all mojo and never recovered. No, no, no. I shall give back about 10-15 seconds per mile through the hills, squeaking out a few seconds on the downhills, leak oil on the uphills. Somewhere between mile 20 and 21, I should pass by my adoring wife and my nephew. Hello Kitty Runner Nephew promised to hold up a Hello Kitty sign to make it easier for his dad and I to spot him (and also get ridiculed by passing runners) My approach for this stage: Leak and squeak!


Mile 21-26.2 At 21 miles, I’ll be 225-250 feet above the finish line with no significant uphill portions of the course to go. Nothing bad about gently dropping 50 feet per mile over the last 5 miles. During this stage of the race, I’ll pass the Boston College students handing out beer, have Fenway park’s CITGO sign in my sights for several miles, eventually running past it, then a quick right and left hand turn onto Boylston Street. The plan is to take back some of the time that I gave up on the hills, and at some point in the game, I shall revert to the battle tested “War of Posts” strategy of running just one mile at goal time, then to run to the next street light, building, or decaying llama until I hit Boylston street, then give it everything I have until about 50 yards from the finish line when I break out into the “Hello Kitty dance” that HKR daughter #1 created in February. My approach for this final stage: Negative Post Dance!



Until then…Hello.

*they don’t have any Red Sox hats. Who wears Red Sox hats anymore?
**the much lesser known half cousin of Heartbreak Hill
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Good Luck HKR!!

13 comments:

Spike said...

HKR, best of luck at Boston! Let us know how the race went, specifically how the HK dance goes over with the crowd.

Nitmos said...

HKR, May you run with unknotted calves! Do the SLDP proud.

Marlene said...

Have a great race, HKR!

Xenia said...

Good luck and enjoy yourself, HKR! Flash those bandaids off with pride.

tfh said...

Good luck, HKR! Leak and squeak is a great mantra. I only wish I could be in the Wellesley crowd to see those famous Band-Aids...

Vava said...

Sounds like a good plan. What's you bib#?

X-Country2 said...

What's a plan without pictures?

Good luck!

Roisin said...

Be spectacular! Sorry...I'm so used to wishing luck to theatre people that I don't know what to say to civilians anymore.

joyRuN said...

Is it weird that I really really really want to be there for "Cruise & Flash"?

Good luck!

Irish Cream said...

Best of luck, HKR!

P.S. I think you should change your wardrobe plan and pin your bib to your shorts so you can flash the official photographers with those hello kitty band-aids at the finish line (all while doing the hello kitty dance, obvs). Just a thought ;)

Shannon said...

Good Luck, can't wait to hear all about it!

Vanilla said...

Best of luck, and awesome people wear Red Sox hats to answer your question.

Viv said...

I hope the HKR passes this on to Nit. I have not been around much lately but I remembered you were one of the few ok the only person I "know" running Boston. Best of luck to you Nit!